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SAN LEANDRO, CA, April 13, 2005 --/WORLD-WIRE/--
How great is it when the best cup of coffee in town is not only environmentally friendly but also pays a fair and livable wage to the hard working farmers who grew it? Coffee-lovers and cause-minded individuals can now enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee or cappuccino but also feel good about providing a livable wage to deserving coffee farmers at the same time. It’s called Fair Trade. Fair Trade Organic coffee and tea provides sustainable benefits to the whole world community. Barefoot Coffee Roasters and Planet Coffee have partnered to bring these great coffees to the East Bay and San Leandro.

85% of the coffees and teas served at Planet Coffee are ‘sustainable’. This means that they are either Organically grown, Fair Trade and/or Shade Grown making them sustainable products. While a smattering of local coffee houses and even some national chains offer one or two sustainable coffees infrequently, Planet Coffee and their coffee roaster partner Barefoot Coffee Roasters has made a major commitment by having 85% of their coffee, espresso and teas Organic and/or Fair Trade Certified.

Fair Trade is an innovative, market-based approach to sustainable development. Fair Trade helps family farmers in developing countries to gain direct access to international markets, as well as to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace. By learning how to market their own harvests, Fair Trade farmers are able to bootstrap their own businesses and receive a fair price for their products. This leads to higher family living standards, thriving communities and more sustainable farming practices. Fair Trade empowers farming families to take care of themselves - without developing dependency on foreign aid.

“San Leandroans are always looking for ways to give back to the community and support great environmental and social causes.” Said Natalie Vo, owner of Planet Coffee. “Barefoot Coffee Roasters’ sustainable coffee offerings allows us to serve seriously great coffee to our demanding customers and satisfy their desire to be involved with and support great causes.”

While Barefoot Coffee Roasters provides sustainable support to the global community by purchasing coffee directly from farmers and buying Fair Trade and Organic coffees, Planet Coffee shows their community commitment by bringing these coffees to the San Leandro area.

“We feel that it is our responsibility to not only buy the best quality coffee we can find, but to also make sure that that same coffee has a positive environmental and social impact as well.” says Andy Newbom, CEO of Barefoot Coffee Roasters. “That is the true definition of great coffee; a coffee that has the best taste in your mouth and in your heart and mind as well. Community leaders and visionaries like Natalie and Thang at Planet Coffee are the future of sustainable support for the community.”

The customer response so far has been highly encouraging. Norm and Isabel Worth, long time coffee fanatics and Planet Coffee customers were excited to be able to support great environmental and social causes while enjoying a great mocha latte. "Barefoot Coffee Roasters and Planet Coffees’ coffees are really amazingly tasty and are the best I have ever had. And to be able to have positive environmental and social impact at the same time is fantastic and I think world changing! We also value the personal customer service given."

Sue Lopez, another patron of Planet Coffee has this to say. “Planet Coffee is my favorite café in San Leandro because I love good coffee and they brew it. Natalie and her team are really conscientious about the coffee they serve. Not only is it great tasting and perfectly prepared, but it’s also Fair Trade and organic, and that matters to me and many of my friends. We want to support our local businesses in their quest to succeed and also support the small farmer with a living wage for hard work that goes into giving me a terrific cup of Joe. So, for a great feeling from great coffee, great people and doing the right thing in our world, go to Planet Coffee! The food is terrific too.”

One new customer has this to say about Planet Coffee. “I am a recent ‘orphan’ from the recent closing of the downtown coffee house Latte Da. I needed to find a new coffee house that I felt was a ‘home away from home’…like Latte Da was to me. I recently visited 3 other coffeehouses. I walked up to the counter and immediately I felt a ‘wall’ between me and the employees behind the counter. I felt more like I was talking to robots and I left with a cold, empty feeling. Not a pleasant experience and definitely not somewhere I would want to spend several hours a day with my baby girl. The last place I visited was Planet Coffee. There I met Natalie the owner. Only she, through her attitude and actions toward me made me feel comfortable and made me feel really welcomed to my new ‘home away from home.’ The GREAT added bonus I discovered was that instead of supporting ‘slave labor’ like most coffee houses do, they supported the system called Fair Trade that treats people fairly and pays them a living wage. And the coffee really tastes great and benefits the environment because it is organic. Please come by and visit this place and find out for yourself what a great getaway it can become for you.”

Planet Coffee is downtown San Leandro’s friendliest neighborhood coffee house. Planet Coffee serves Barefoot Coffee Roasters artisan coffees and whole loose leaf teas, makes fresh fruit smoothies and serves a complete line of hot and cold sandwiches, salads and several delicious pastries. Planet Coffee features free wireless internet access, great comfortable seating, big windows for people watching and is easy walking distance from all of downtown. Planet Coffee is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 am till 4:00 pm, Saturdays from 6:30 am till 4:00 pm and starting in May, Sundays from 7:00 am till 1:00 pm. Planet Coffee is located right on 14th Street at 1423 E 14th St. You can email Planet Coffee at e-mail protected from spam bots or call them at 510-351-5527. Planet Coffee is a member of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce and a proud supporter of the wonderful community of San Leandro.

Natalie Vo and her husband Thang Nguyen took over ownership of the coffee house, that has been around over a decade, in July of 2004 and gave the place a little face-lift and a major make-over. In addition to the previously tasty food menu, they have added the amazingly delicious Vietnamese sandwiches and the delightful Vietnamese iced coffee and a host of other sweet specialty coffee drinks.

Barefoot Coffee Roasters is a full-service coffee and espresso bar and artisan organic wholesale coffee roaster located at 5237 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Santa Clara (at the corner of Lawrence Expressway near Bed, Bath and Beyond). Barefoot was voted the Best Coffee House in Silicon Valley by Metro magazine for 2004. Barefoot is famous for their traditional cappuccinos as seen on NBC and KOMO news. All coffees are roasted fresh in the café by skilled artisan roasters using old-world, small batch roasting techniques to coax the best flavor out of every coffee. Barefoot Coffee Roasters actively practices and promotes sustainability in both products and practices.

Over 85% of Barefoot Coffee Roasters coffees are organic, shade grown and fair traded, resulting in not only better coffee but better living and working conditions for the farmers and their children for successive generations. Barefoot Coffee Roasters was recently certified as a licensed Fair Trade coffee roaster by Transfair USA. The café features computers for Internet access, as well as Wi-Fi Internet access, and serves high-quality coffees, teas, pastries, desserts and chocolates. Barefoot Coffees are served and enjoyed in many fine cafés and restaurants throughout the nation.

Barefoot Coffee Roasters is proud to be a participating member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, the Roasters Guild and a founding member of the Barista Guild of America.

For more information, go to:

CONTACT: (408) 248-4500

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